Homebaked Ciabatta Using Sourdough Starter


2 days ago, I decided to try and bake Ciabatta using my sourdough starter.  (I started preparing the dough 2 days ago but baked today.)  Quite a few months ago, we were given some sourdough starter.  Although I’ve baked round bread using the starter a few times, the texture is quite chewy, a little too chewy for sandwiches, so I haven’t baked it very often.  The starter isn’t something you can easily buy so I don’t want it to be wasted so I have been feeding it regularly enough but every time when I feed it I have to throw away quite a lot and and thought I should try to use it more often, so decided to try making Ciabatta.


This video on Youtube is the recipe I followed more or less but as I started late in the day, after folding every 30 minutes 4 times I didn’t have time to rest it for 4-6 hours and decided to put it in the fridge.  I took it out on the following day, let it rest for 5 hours then put it back in the fridge to let it rest for 21 hours (in the recipe it says 12-24 hours).  I then cut it into 4, covered them with a damp tea towel and let it rest for 2 hours (the recipe says 1 hour), then baked for 10 minutes at 240C then turned the temperature down to 225C and baked for 9 more minutes (the recipe says 10 minutes).


When I mixed the ingredients (I used a half the quantities in the recipe – 180g water, 6g salt, 50g starter, 225g flour, I used Japanese flour, which is supposed to be best for French Bread and other hard bread), the dough was very soft and it kept being quite soft until the end.  I was worried it may not come out very nicely  but it was actually very good.  However it a had large empty hole in the inside and the crust was very crispy so it wasn’t realy ciabatta.  As I say it was still very good bread, though.  The flavour of “sourdough” was subtle, which we like, and the texture was more like hard bread than Ciabatta, probably because I used the flour for hard bread and also the temperature I set was a little too high.    I think I’ll try with strong flour next time.


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